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4o8        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

be well if the children could be brought up on a desert island away
from artistic example of any sort. In practice this means a
minimizing of the teacher's guidance, " The more the teacher
holds himself aloof," he says, " the better for the class."* His
own not quite consistent method is to let the learner do the work
that appeals to him in his own way, and to refrain from comments
and suggestions till after this independent effort. The result is
that his pupil's drawings show vigorous personal performance
on the basis of a common technique, presumably derived from
their master. And so long as children are not brought up on
desert islands no method, however free, can have, or need seek,
any better result.

8. SCIENTIFIC PEDAGOGY

The movement for the individualizing of education through
special methods of learning and teaching has been reinforced by
the remarkable development of educational science in the early
Twentieth Century. Child Study gave promise of furnishing
the teacher with a science of childhood capable of illuminating
the work of the school, but after the first enthusiasm for it was
past it became evident that it had disappointed expectations.
The information it gave about the ways of children was too
general to be of much use in dealing with the individual child;
and the statistical foundations on which its conclusions had
been reared were, to say the least, rather shaky. With the turn
of the Century a fresh start was made. The work of Sir Francis
Galton and Karl Pearson furnished the social sciences with a
sound statistical method; and the invention of a Measuring
Scale of Intelligence by Alfred Binet (1857-1911) furnished a
potent instrument for the investigation of human capacity. The
combination of the two has brought within sight the exact know-
ledge of the child and his work which is necessary both for the
adaptation of instruction to the individual learner and for the
employment of education for the furtherance of social purposes,

Binet was a psychologist of rare genius, greatly interested in
the concrete applications of psychology, and capable of getting
remarkable results by very simple means. Some of his finest

* The New Era, April and October, 1923.